December 04, 2013 - Four years of training pays off next weekend for Kaley Moyet, seventh grader at Sashabaw Middle School.
She's testing for her black belt in Ryu Kyu Kempo karate, Dec. 14, at Clarkston Self Defense.
Her parents, Jesse and Sherri Moyet, will be there, along with her sister Samantha, fifth grader at Bailey Lake Elementary.
"She's driven, really into it," Jesse said. "It gives her self confidence."
Kaley started out with a white belt when she was 8 years old.
"She's very smart and focused," said Sensei Darwin Banister, chief instructor at Clarkston Self Defense. "Kaley is very dynamic, a very interesting individual. She's very shy and quiet, but when she runs the basics, she's the loudest in the room."
"She's very quiet, but here, she comes out of her shell big time," Sherri said.
Kaley was inspired to take up karate by Spongebob Squarepants, who has been known to study the martial arts, and other television characters.
"It seemed a little different at first. A lot more concentration to get focused and control of self," she said.
Her goal from the beginning was to earn her black belt, and she kept at it, learning several choreographed kata routines.
"I practiced a lot," she said.
Her favorite kata is Chinto, with lots of movement and turning actions.
"It's a lot harder than the others," she said.
If successful, her training won't end. As a black belt, she'll help lead classes and teach fellow students.
"It's more difficult than following, because you have to remember what to do," she said.
Through the years, she learned self-confidence, discipline and mental toughness, and how to break boards and bricks with her hands and feet. She has made many new friends, she said.
She also takes on up to five opponents during her weekly sparring sessions in preparation for her black belt testing, Jesse said.
"I got my black belt when I was about the same age, back in the 80s," he said. "She saw an article about me in the Orion Review – she said, 'I want to do that, too.'"
"It's just exciting, a big deal for a 12 year old," Sherri said. "She trained so hard for this."
For more information, call Clarkston Self Defense at 248-922-7643.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.